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tv   Senate Foreign Relations Hearing on Human Rights in China  CSPAN  December 8, 2018 1:51pm-2:40pm EST

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days. >> so you travel in your frying -- flying discreetly. i went to rome and brussels. i did not want to go to tripoli, i was scared to death. they wanted to send me to the middle east all the time. my experience was as someone who had ties with the italian government. understood why. if they were so shady. the first time i did the interview for the job, i didn't know george. you know a guy with your same background is advising on the trump pain -- campaign. when he reached out to me on linkedin i thought that is the guy. mr. papadopoulos: this is the
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organization that introduced me. this is something -- when you mention the competing narratives. my meeting with joseph, he is the man who told me about emails that got me into trouble. know, toose who don't set the table for this. everyone who has been indicted is either a process crime or they claim they lied to the fbi, it is claimed they said he told him that when he talked about the emails, that conversation happened a month earlier and he was already on the campaign and been approached about the emails. lied to the fbi and that hindered their investigation. process crime, obstruction of justice. that is what they got him for.
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there was no collusion or anything like that. when you read the documents, it is always where we you in 2015? do you are member where you were in june or july? you were actually here. they know better than you before they ask the question. that is why they got him. the timeline is important for that reason. mr. papadopoulos: i let this company no, i am leaving and going back to washington. i am out of london. i was tired of london and wanted to get back to the u.s.. i wanted to get back into politics. you said before you go, have to come with us to rome. i said why would you want me to go to rome with you for business? i had never traveled to rome. i thought it was a three day minivacation on my way to see the vatican. the trevi fountain.
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i thought i would get some good food. the director of the company i was working for in london which has now been discovered to be something completely different than i thought it was, went to me and said you need to meet this woman in london. she is going to explain a couple things to you. at all.'t stand out she was mid-50's and seemed academic. i found out she was a counsel for the fbi in the u.k. a -- i could be wrong a connection to mueller after 9/11. march of 2016. i met her in london when she was working for my company. she said you should go to rome. why she came into my life to say that, i will explain what
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happened. thisn go to rome to university called link campus. i thought it was a beautiful 17th-century cathedral style university that probably no one has ever heard of. there,when i walked in the director of the university with the italian foreign minister. there was a symposium being held there with opposition leadership from libya at the time which was a divided company -- country. there were higher ups in the policy and intelligence world. i said this is not a random university. after i have done my due diligence and i looked into this place and probably others, we see that in 2000 for the cia held a symposium there. an article was written about it. if bia agents go there and teach courses.
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basically it is a spooked school for western intelligence. you're not supposed to know these things when you are being entrapped. [laughter] my contact at the company in london said this is someone you need to meet. he disappeared. that is when my company director disappeared. joseph met sid knew everything about me before i got there. he said you are joining the trump campaign. i said yeah who are you? know the vietnamese prime minister, i know this guy, he presented himself as a man of the world who could connect me to every country you can imagine including russia. it wasn't a secret that trump wanted some connection with russia at the geopolitical level
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at that time. take him with a grain of salt and see what he can provide. in terms of connecting the campaign to various diplomats. just like my drop description entail me to do. -- job description entail me to do. was profilingt he me. what is your religion? are you sympathetic to this party or that country? insteadore of a profile of hey you are interesting and we can work something out. it was more of a profile. when you are 28 and not in the circles, you don't know what is happening until you look back. >> you feel important also. mr. papadopoulos: you think these are important people. that is the point of intelligence. it is all fake. sometimes, you should not
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believe everyone that you meet. myself, let's see what he can offer. i go back to my company in london. as i transition back to washington, i speak to the director at the company in london and he says they are going to introduce you to the niece of vladimir putin. i said what? for a guy who has never met a russian official and now i am meeting the niece of the president of russia. i am on cloud nine. [laughter] basically, that company was in on it. there wasn't some sort of game going on. him and vladimir putin's a fake niece. [laughter] i don't know why he said nice. i could have just done a google search and known vladimir putin did not have a niece.
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rumorsrl, there were that she was just a wine a store manager. [laughter] people like my friend, he said she was western intelligence also as part of an operation. the whole thing is declassified i guess. >> where did you meet her? mr. papadopoulos: we met her at a beautiful hotel. she barely spoke english. this is very important for everyone to understand why things became suspicious moving forward. , notas smiling contributing anything to the conversation. moving forward, she became whoever that person was i was talking to or writing to via email, she wrote in fluent english. she became a so-called middle woman to the kremlin and the world.
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deflected him away and she became a person i was supposed to deal with. i said instead of dealing with the academic, i was dealing with vladimir putin's family. it would probably give me faster this is why it became very strange, because she began to write to me that the russians know about you, they want to meet you. of londonn ambassador cannot wait to meet you. i set up the meeting. at that time, i did want to meet with russian officials to understand what the relationship was. it was probably naive on my part. >> that's the thing -- everything now is being into where it was at the time. nobody thought russia was a thing, nobody cared about russia during the debates. thea ridiculed romney, 1980's foreign policy act. now all of a sudden everything is nefarious.
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you are building a network, you are a young man on the rise, you are in a hurry. mr. papadopoulos: that is exactly what it was, but then they never introduced me to any russian officials, they just kept writing that we were going to do this. that is when i started to feel suspicious. i remember i messaged whoever that person was, and said, did i meet you in london? are you the same person? no response. myselfarted to distance at that point and i think he began to realize that whoever was -- or whoever was running him began to notice that. he sent me one last email, as far as i can remember. he said i am returning from russia, let's have one more meeting in london. i said, ok, and that is when he drops this bomb on me, out of the blue, unsolicited. i had no idea what i wanted to talk about. no one was expecting it.
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but that is how awkward and war heand this info dropped on me. recent revelations and discoveries that have come out that i can't yet disclosed how i know were there were transcripts of my meeting with this person. , why was a russian agent would the u.s. government have transcripts of this person. dropping mistake information on my lap and basically seeing what i was going to do with it. meeting, that is when things get even stranger. for aant to stop there moment, because you had a pre-existing relationship -- mr. papadopoulos: for about a month and a half. >> before you were working on the campaign? mr. papadopoulos: no, no. >> during the campaign? mr. papadopoulos: i met him for
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the first time ever two days after i joined the campaign on a skype call, but my name had not gone public, like everyone's name went public on march 21. i think i met him around march 12 or 13th. >> did he know you were working the campaign? mr. papadopoulos: i think he did. it is i see you, but we are probably not going to talk. i am leaving. after he drops this information on me, that is when london becomes a very strange city to me. that is when u.s. intelligence officials reach out to me from the embassy and start to question me -- >> what is that look like, though? you lived it and we are trying to tell the story. reaching out to you, what does that mean? how does that go about? mr. papadopoulos: let's backtrack. the meeting was april 20 6, 2016. two or three days later, the
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times of london called the company i was working for. the times of london is london's most powerful newspaper. they said, we want to interview papadopoulos. i said that's fine. the campaign said you should do it. i said, ok. i began to talk with them and that is when he sensationalized headline came out about -- at the time, the u.k. prime minister was essentially trump,ging candidate calling him an idiot or a more on for his proposal of a muslim man and other proposals, whether the u.k. liked it or not, there was a lot of support for that in this country. that is why president trump -- or canada trump was talking about it. and he changed and modified things, but as a candidate you just throw ideas out. is not anothert government's business, especially an ally, to public we disparage a candidate for any idea. basically, the times of london
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asked, do you think he should apologize to canada trump? i said something along the lines of, guess you should. the same night that happened, piers morgan calls me at 11:59 p.m. -- did you read the said,ne in the times? i who are you? why are you calling me, how did you get my number? my show i need you on at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow. i looked at the title, and it advisormp campaign demands apology from u.k. prime minister, or something that was completely -- >> i call that you're welcome to the jungle moment. mr. papadopoulos: your welcome to the jungle -- half the campaign hated me for it, half love me for it, one of those kinds of things. i felt kind of good, i got a message from hope hicks, like
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don't worry, you are cool. i thought that meant trump likes it, because trump with dealing with hope hicks at the time, 24 hours a day, i think. i was confident, but after that interview, that is when i was being hollowed in london -- being followed in london. i began to notice people watching me that looks like -- could beat british intelligence, they could be cia, trying to figure out what i am doing. two days after that is when the u.s. embassy reached out to me. i think they were cia. they were intelligence officials , either dia, cia, something like that. you never really know. i said to me, i have no issue. i used to talk a lot with u.s. defense attaches and middle east personnel in athens, tel aviv, these kinds of places. i was quite comfortable. this conversation started off on the wrong foot.
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-- one guy started talking greek to me, to kind of show that i know your background , as a person who was dealing in athens with our military people. the other guy was like, i know your energy business activities, because i finished my thesis on some pipeline. so those two were sent by somebody to basically probed me about my activities, personal activities, who i was hanging out with in london, who i was dating, very strange questions. then they wanted to ingratiate themselves within the campaign, which i found incredibly bizarre. that? theyean by wined and dined me as if i was marilyn monroe or some model. she would have deserved it, you know? [laughter] mr. papadopoulos: i said hey, if you want to spend $700 on wine
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and food, do it. >> wine and dining. mr. papadopoulos: they are pouring drinks, and i said, that is quite a lot of money to be spending for two government workers. they are not poor but they are not millionaires, and i have ever spent $700 on a dinner myself, i have never seen it. and said ok, i want to distance myself from these two guys. then they said no, please. we want to join the campaign, essentially. join theou mean, campaign? you are active-duty intelligence officials at the u.s. embassy in london, and you are sending me messages that you want to ingratiate yourself in the campaign, meet people, advise them and share knowledge. i was just, you know, a little cautious. >> did you get their names? mr. papadopoulos: terrence
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dudley, i think he is to let the embassy in london right now, and gregory baker. >> [inaudible] >> gregory baker, this is crazy. wanted to get an update about the job situation. [laughter] mr. papadopoulos: i guess they are still following us? [inaudible] tweet a screen cap if you still have it. >> i forgot to tell him. [laughter] [inaudible] so by thatoulos: point i was tired of being wined and died by these two guys, and i did not like that they were really interested in the campaign stuff. they told me then yeah, but you know what? you need to meet our people in athens. our people meaning the cia guys.
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i said, why are they introducing toas a campaign advisor their associates at the embassy and there was an email where they accident we copied me on, that said this is a subject of interest or something like that. it couldn't be about me, could at? what it was, probably. so you had those guys. 26, i get this bomb dropped on me about emails. two days later, the times of london comes into my life and we have this headline. two days after that, we have u.s. intelligence coming into my life and two days after they left, that is when the australian guy reaches out to me. and this is no random australian diplomat, so everyone
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understands. now we know. my opinion is the investigation did not start on july 31. i think it carried on until at least the beginning of march, april 2016, if not before. met his assistant in 2016 around the time when joseph makes was saying all of these strange characters were in my life, and she was quite hostile. she basically said the australian government is not pleased with candidate trump, we are watching you very closely. he is a pariah. first of all,lf, why am i meeting and australian diplomat? why are they reaching out to meet? trump never mentioned australia once during the campaign. later we find out there is a five eyes intelligence -- i will
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get to that, but one thing at a time. she reaches out to me out of the blue in april 2016, asking me questions about trump, russia, everything, and just being quite hostile. then he drops that information on e-so i forgot that part, first the australian diplomat comes into my life, then the times of london, then the u.s. intelligence, then after that, the same australian diplomat who i had met with before said hey, do you know my boss wants to meet you now? >> [inaudible] obstruction of justice. the earlier timeline did not match. >> yes, you forget one detail, you get one day wrong, that is it. set for three hours with the fbi. interviewed -- >> [inaudible]
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explain that,os: because there are a lot of personal elements that we have never shared of what we have gone through since that initial interview. >> that is what i want to hear. we can talkulos: about those issues, but this is what nobody knows about, and i think she can talk about that more than i can. >> the second trip i did to iicago, when we were dating, came off the flight from london to his home, and there was an agent knocking on his door, saying there was a subpoena from mueller. i was shocked. was in that when it was guilty? >> yes, the day you pled guilty in washington. he was in washington pleading
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guilty and i have an fbi agents telling me, you have no option. bther you go to washington, interviewed by the grand jury, or you can come to the fbi in chicago. a friendly conversation. if we are happy with you we will let you go. talk aboutoulos: trying to ruin my romance. [laughter] >> that was a separate time, that was four months into dating. something like, they were telling the basically, don't ever come back to the united states. it was crazy. so i said ok. i call mueller's office in washington, and this lawyer answered to me and said, what is you can goew about? to chicago and meet the agent. i go to chicago. first i went to the embassy. i was like no, no, we have lawyers. you go there, it is twofold.
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i said, my boyfriend just led guilty for lying to the fbi. [laughter] so this was a question about our personal lives, they wanted to know if i was the source of the was a spyon him, if i in the united states -- they .ade a spy movie fascinated, and asked, why are you so calm? i do not understand what is going on. me more they asked about my connections to the european union, our meetings, why you are coming here, getting in trouble, that kind of things. i shared the information i had,
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and the next day they were saying, we are happy with your interview, thank you very much. you don't not need to drop off your subpoena. that is ok. i was very happy, and i was like ok, i got it. later, ihile, 10 days was going to fly from chicago to rome. when i was boarding, the same agent that interviewed me stopped me and told me, hi. i was boarding my flight, so i was terrified that something had happened, they do not want me to flee the country. they -- a number, and said, we want you to use this number to give us any information you have about george. and then -- in europe. they told me, are you planning to come back to the united states? i said yes, we got engaged.
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and then they asked me also during the interview, when you were under oath, they asked me, do you love george? mr. papadopoulos: we have an unconventional relationship. >> i thought, if they find out i don't love him i will go to jail. [laughter] , was terrified and i remember they told me a storm is about to come, be careful. i said, what storm is about to come?\ mr. papadopoulos: the agent told you that. >> while i was boarding. so that is the first time we see george in the news. before i was going to chicago and i knew everything was going on, i did not know -- nobody knew he would be arrested, that he had pled guilty. one -- it wasst
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really intimidating. the fbi coming to the airport was telling me, i know it you are doing a know the time of and i know -- doing that have it your flight, and do you love george papadopoulos? i said, ok. they asked me if i wanted to marry him, and i said, he did not propose yet. mr. papadopoulos: that is the irony of how you get caught up, because you do not know enough going. i'm afraid of the fbi. going to talk my lawyer, i'm not going to get to spend on me, it is a terrifying experience. friendly,ike they are they asked to have a talk, and then you end up in jail. mr. papadopoulos: yes. make,s the mistake people we need to be very, very conscientious and cautious before ever talking to them. i read your things over and over
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again and i remember when it hit , like we finally got them, trump and russia, and a lot of the media prey on people's ignorance. they woulda lawyer, not have gotten you on obstruction of justice. if you had anything about russia, they would have flipped you and work your way -- works the food chain. you talked to mueller's office four times? mr. papadopoulos: before i pled guilty. >> you had the three interviews with the fbi, four interviews with him -- what were those like? run us through those? is still an ongoing investigations why cannot get into too many details yet, but the investigation seems to be winding down, so i will be able to talk about it shortly. terms, it was just, contacts abroad, logan act violations, this infamous logan act from the 18th century.
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whois, what did i do? policy in my undermining by talking to an egyptian diplomat or this guy or japanese diplomat? my experience -- the only thing i feel comfortable saying now is that i felt i was more under scrutiny for just helping trump win than for anything nefarious i did against my country, if that makes sense. i hope -- maybe i was reading things wrong, but i do not think i was. because if even 10% of the narrative was right about me and my connections to russia, like just now, two weeks ago, a crazy person sent a letter and said i was dealing with russian business and all of this insanity, and ok, i am going to prison when this happens, i find out who it is and it is just a crazy person who wrote a letter
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just to continue the fabrication of this russian -- it blows my life away, because she lives with me, and we had a reporter -- no, i had a doubles bargain reporter who said, i think it is time to write a redemption fees on you. need a i do not redemption. than you.popular he said, you have to tell me everything about all the russia stuff. shauna says, these people really believe it. i know they do because i have had in my house the new yorker, the l.a. times, politico, and then they watch me work and those people never, ever, ever talk about the russia stuff much anymore, because they realize oh, they are regular people. but alas majority of journal -- that is the danger, they are
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zealous and really do believe that russia is controlling everything and it is making them lose their minds. >> but do you know what i found fascinating about this fake narrative. the day that mr. papadopoulos: the day before i testified -- mr. papadopoulos: the day before i testified for seven hours on capitol hill, his lawyer went public and says he is working for the fbi. after that, there were reports that he now wanted to testify to the senate. if he testifies to the senate, that would take a lot of gumption, to use a euphemism, for a russian spy to go in front of the senate and talk about his efforts to subvert democracy and hack emailed and help putin. this is something, a space that i am really intrigued about to see what he said, if he does end
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up testifying under oath to our congress, and what he has to say . all we know at this point is that there are transcripts, and that his lawyer is saying when he was interacting with papadopoulos, he was under the guidance of western intelligence . if that is the case, which i do not understand why his lawyer would be lying about him -- i am represented by some of the top lawyers in this country, and there is no way they would go orlic and lie about me create a fantasy around their client that does not exist for no reason whatsoever, because then they could get sued and it is not a good look for any lawyer to do that. i'm interested in seeing what happens, and my understanding is that there is an agreement, according to his lawyer, that he has with the special counsel that he will speak freely once the investigation is over. that is something i am very intrigued to see what comes
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about. >> it has been a wild ride. what is one question you have never been asked that you always wanted to be asked? how did i getos: so loved her -- so lucky to have her marry me in this? [applause] mr. papadopoulos: sometimes the politics gets boring or redundant. you know, i am in the middle of it and i am bored of it sometimes. >> you are the best adventurer. now people think we are crazy, but yeah. it is intense. >> the investigation is still going, but two years ago i predicted what would happen and what did happen. i said, you will catch a bunch of people and process crimes because people do not know that if you misremember the date -- again, that is not the headline. george papadopoulos risser
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members -- misremember the date by a month. if you read the documents, it is wait, this is what they have on him? then the general public is ignorant about sentencing and go oh, well he only got two weeks, so he must've given them a bunch of info. no, that is the guidelines. if you are a lawyer, you look at what happened and say oh, this is whatever. every day to the fbi and you get zero to six months if it is egregious, and then it gets something spun into something crazy. do you get a lot of death threats? know, it'soulos: you a funny story. i started out as the darling of the left. when i couldn't defend myself. then i have narratives created for me. look -- day -- >> you were their patron saint. there is a new one every day. mr. papadopoulos: i was a patron saint without ever uttering a word myself or going public with
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my story. that for me was so frustrating to see that happen. i said my goodness, my entire life is crumbling before me to fit something that -- it is impossible to fix, because back to the original point, i have never met a russian official in my life. so that is where spy gate comes in. as we were discussing earlier. i don't know, what is your take on this? >> i remember that that they were talking about george cooperating. they thought that this would lead to trump impeachment. never said that. when i went to fox news the said, i want to set the record straight. had -- twitter threatening me.
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>> so tickets to that moment. that imember i told you was meeting in chicago. we were listening to people talking about george as the one who was talking to mueller about the trunk connection to russia. i said, i do not have any connection to russia. they were trying to extort from george information that he did not have, the question was always the same. georgeked me, limited communicate with during the campaign? they wanted to use him to find, but he never did it. that is why mueller was not happy with his cooperation and what happened with the sentencing. talkews invited me to because he could not talk, so i was his voice. i said no, this is not correct.
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, it has beene distorted in a way to present reality in a way that it is not. once i was vocal on the ,ntrapment, on the spy gate then i basically had all of america threatening me. journalists from the left, the same ones writing useful -- about me, slandering me, trying to discredit me. lies, like i'm am a lawyer, no she is not a lawyer -- i am. it is easy to check this information, even in italy, you know? many other things like that. i have these attacks that were very violent and they were all orienting to undermine my credibility, because they need to prepare the field for what happens now, because now we can
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talk and of course, better than me. mr. papadopoulos: and there were the death threats from twitter. >> i had some. they will kill you, you are a russian spy. mr. papadopoulos: this is the depth of insanity we have reached. my wife is italian, from italy, born and raised, she happens to be blonde and blue-eyed, but because of that -- >> i am russian. mr. papadopoulos: just to fit another narrative that a russian spy who married me. many people think i am russian. marriage isulos: russian -- i said oh, that is an interesting watchlist. i had not realized it. what i had noticed is that when people in the media do not like get death threats, it never gets supported. has the journalist ever asked you about the death threats? >> no, never.
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it is actually a little scary. i think every day that my account has been hacked at least i deleted myand account because i could not take it any longer. that is oneulos: thing you do notice, is that there are all of these articles about if anybody on the left gets a mean tweet it is a big story, but when the left makes death threats on people, you never read that in the media. i have tough skin, but it is still hard. thank goodness we have patriots like people in this room and loving americans who not only -- this is something i must say -- this is something that has kept us afloat financially, they are helping us through gofundme
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until we were able to, you know, work on other issues, other projects morally, spiritually. i remember -- i will never forget this moment -- the day i it was a to prison, hectic day, you know? we got in a fight because of stress -- you can understand. it was a chaotic day and any little thing happens, it is overblown. i was very upset and stressed and she was crying and i was yelling, and it was like, so this is how i am going to prison? i'm going to prison with my wife crying and a fight. i said oh my goodness, this cannot happen this way. however, as we were driving to fromrison, a pastor houston, texas -- i had no idea who this man was -- he knew who i was and who simone was, he somehow sent me a message on
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twitter. brother george, sisters simona, can i pray for your? i said of course. we were not even sitting together in the car area there was so much tension, you know. the moment that gentleman got on the phone and started praying for us, it naturally brought us together. you know? [applause] mr. papadopoulos: and that teary -- i mean -- i get thinking of it because i got. in the car. my dog was with us, and it was eulogy, the light comes after the darkest period, and i see it now. i was not supposed to be at this miracle,e but by some
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i was able to get out of two days of my princes sentence does prison sentence -- prison sentence and was able to speak to everyone here. i held my head high and went and prison, into the unknown with courage and strength. moments before, i have none of it. that, for me, was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. my marriage to my wife. mr. papadopoulos: one last question -- >> one last question, what would you do differently if you could live your life differently? >> what? >> if you could live your life over again, what would you change? i don't have much regrets, i dose i never regret what when i believe in. i make mistakes, as everybody.
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to i think even going back this very difficult year, i would do it again and again. it brought me with the love of my life. [applause] mr. papadopoulos: i am the luckiest man in the world, as i'm going to prison. who can say that? i can, and it is because of comments like that. i am like her. i do not regret -- i love politics. it is what gets me going. it is like an animal instinct. i love it and maybe that is why i had all of this activity around me. i loved playing baseball in high school, i probably would want to play for the chicago cubs or something. but i do not regret my choice in politics.
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i hope this experience has not stunted me from progressing in politics, because i am the oldest guy in the world. not the oldest guy in the world. i'm 31 and have a lot of experiences. mr. papadopoulos: -- >> i hope you write about your first day in prison, because i was reading it like a novel. thank you so much. [applause] mr. papadopoulos: i think it is over. alex told me we had to wrap it up, so is that it, we are done? thank you so much. [applause] [indiscernible
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conversations] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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>> you guys need to write a book. [laughter] book calledote a we needve great again,"
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more people like that no had a be a supportive woman -- and a supportive man. >> that is the thing, why do people think i am a spy? >> you are so loyal. , i thank you guys so much would love to have you on my podcast. [indiscernible]
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>> earlier today on his way to the army-navy ball game in philadelphia, president trump told reporters outside the white house that chief of staff john kelly would be leaving by the end of the year and that a replacement would be announced soon. he was also asked about the russian investigation. president trump: i am going now to the army-navy game. i think we are going to flip a coin


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